Anyways, here's what I was motivated to write in an earlier post on this topic:
Why isn't Madonna or these other outraged people protesting over the 32 miners killed in South Africa?
I understand 3 years (or is it 2?) is a tough punishment for what is basically vandalism by western standards (although I'm sure we can find examples or worse injustices in any of the western judicial systems). The organized and overblown reaction to all of this is much more about ruining Russia's reputation as a democratic nation than anything else. I've actually heard the nightly news-anchor here in Canada report on "International condemnation" of the sentencing. Are you fucking kidding me? Miners being gunned down for protesting in South Africa, Omahr Khadr still sitting in Guantanamo for something he might've been involved when he was 16, all the Wikileaks shit from Iraq Afghanistan... and the Pussy Riot going for a 2 year stint for vandalism is causing "international condemnation"?! If anything's made me aware of how alive the cold war is, this is it.
I don't want to be misunderstood.. I'm in favour of Kasparov and the Pussy Riot doing what they're doing and fighting for a better government in Russia... as anyone should be doing for their country! But I am just irritated by the "better than thou" indignations echoed in media channels of the equally unjust western world that tends to ignore massive wrongdoings that are too inconvenient to the larger narrative.
It makes it only worse that your other demands of condemnations are full of factual inaccuracies - Omahr Khadr is sitting in Gitmo not for "something he might've been involved" but for, among other terrorist activities, murdering an American - Sergeant Christopher James Speer, to which he admitted and plead guilty. Pussy Riot had nothing to do with vandalism and weren't accused of vandalism. Western world is not "equally unjust" as nobody is imprisoned for 2 years for protesting the head of state. The press is not "ignoring" any of the issues you raised - Wikileaks revelations, Gitmo prisoners and other events are extensively discussed in the press and nobody is being imprisoned for doing so.
Kremlin is paying bloggers and commenters in Russia to post positive things about authorities:
Russian authorities may also be paying or employing some users of HN.
That's how I get it. I was expecting to find the "lynching Negroes" comment upvoted high by just seeing the title. It does not mean that the user who posted it is employed by Kremlin, but you know, the message will be upvoted...
Would you believe that Pussy Riot would be allowed to sing an anti-Putin song in the Red Square and get away with it?
In fact, that's what they did on 20th January 2012. On the Red Square in broad daylight they played a nicely rousing song about 'KGB bitches' and 'Putin who is pissing his pants', and they have a very nice photos and videos to show: http://pussy-riot.livejournal.com.nyud.net/8459.html and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqcmldeC7Ec
After that Red Square performance they were briefly detained by the police and then released. No trial, no conviction, no world outrage... nothing.
So, next time their organisers have chosen another venue to make sure they would get arrested and there would be headlines "Jailed for singing an anti-Putin song"...
Not that I have to validate my objectivity to you, but I am typing this from a comfortable home in Toronto, Ontario and my paycheques are signed by a B2B publisher for my services rendered as a marketing specialist. It must be too shocking for you to accept that someone might actually have an opinion that doesn't perfectly align with the western media narrative.
Now, blaming all of this on the "western media narrative", a mindset relic of the hawkest hawks of the Cold War, who exaggerate a simple incident of "vandalism" in order to discredit the democratic government of Putin... Yeah, that's a contrarian opinion. Which just happens to be false. Western media simply does not give that much of a fuck now about Rusia. Past protests in Russia about the legitimacy of the elections? Here covered, at most, in passing. The law banning reunions? Don't care. The Pussy Riot incident? It's only on HN's front page because Kasparov was arrested.
You replying to me by telling me that my opinion is inappropriate to the conversation (which I started by the way... there are other conversations below you can express your approval of) is an attempt to censor me. Calling my thought process a relic of the cold war is either an intentional distraction or just naivete on your part.
If you disagree with my opinion about the double standards with which western media handles events from countries whose regimes it approves of and those that it doesn't that's completely fine. But I'd like you to consider a hypothetical incident which I've mentioned below: a few guys walk into a Manhattan synagogue, put Balaklavas over their heads and scream out profanities against Israel and capitalism. Would you really be as outraged if they were carted off to jail and put on some terrorist watch-list.
Really? Because it's also called "pot calling the kettle black".
Being a "classic defence" doesn't make it wrong.
Even if both sides are equally bad, the accuser is hypocritical on top of that.
>Kremlin is paying bloggers and commenters in Russia to post positive things about authorities:
Do they now?
"There is quite an incredible spread of relationships. You don’t need to manipulate Time magazine, for example, because there are [Central Intelligence] Agency people at the management level."
-- William B. Bader, former CIA intelligence officer, briefing members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, The CIA and the Media, by Carl Bernstein
"The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any significance in the major media."
-- William Colby, former CIA Director, quoted by Dave Mcgowan, Derailing Democracy
(it goes far back: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Mockingbird )
It is this point I feel the parent is making, that the amount of coverage a topic receives is rooted in the propaganda aims of the powers that be and in the biases they wish to instill or are already instilled in the media consuming public.
Edit: also by doing this I am not choosing to ignore corruption in Russia. It's clearly there as it is in any country, but there are more serious and more glaring examples of that corruption, albeit not as glamorous or news friendly and digestable.
Edit2: also you need to acquire some more information on that Omahr Khadr case.. it is definitely not as cut-and-dry as you've been led to believe.
"Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Yekaterina Samutsevich participated in some Voina performances. Tolokonnikova was part of a performance in which a number of couples were filmed having sex in the Biology Museum in Moscow in 2008."
You can easily find footage of them participating in this orgy. How would you handle such "protesters" that constantly show this kind of behaviour for many years? I guess they would be imprisoned in the US as well.
If you think people that have sex or film it (provided, of course, we're talking about consenting adults) are imprisoned in the US, you obviously do not know much about US. In the US, to be imprisoned, one has to actually commit a crime and be judged and sentenced, and this happens in independent court which does not jump when the government says "jump!". So please do not guess, because your guess is wrong.
For example, a NY DJ was caught having public gay sex. He was arrested and sentenced to 12 sessions of counseling.
Fines and short jail sentences are the typical result of such incidents.
This was something they did 4 years ago, and since then they repeatedly broke the law. (other examples: "Samutsevich took part in actions which involved releasing live cockroaches in a court room and kissing policewomen in the Moscow metro and on the streets (which in some cases was seen as attempted assault)")
The sentence for the DJ was perfectly resonable after this misstep, and I hope he didn't have trouble with the police any more after counseling. But imagine what the sentence would look like for him after repeatedly showing such behaviour.
Edit: Actually he did have sex in his car .. doesn't even look like if it was his intent to get caught. Thats a whole different thing and not comparable to having such a performance in a museum in front of 20 news reporters.
Those girls have a long history of such "actions" and what in most civilized countries happens is that you first get fined, then you are maybe arrested and set free on probation, and if you still refuse to conform to a socially (and legally) more acceptable behaviour, you eventually end up in jail.
The same goes for Kasparov. He's been arrested so many times for willfully committing minor offenses, that if he is found to be guilty of biting that officer he'll probably get a sentence near the maximum of 5 years in prison.
Similarly HackerNews goes crazy anytime a developer is treated even the least bit badly by Apple or Google because they're in our In-Group, and its to our self benefit to protest.
The plight of people a world away, who aren't like you.... well it doesn't touch the emotional buttons of many people.
Of course, all those other things you mentioned are, in isolation, much worse than these recent Russian affairs, and obviously the Western media takes a particular thrill in being putting on the mantle of courageous defender of human rights to condemn a geopolitical rival. But a bunch of workplace strikers being gunned down by an undisciplined police force isn't really indicative of much (as outrageous and terrible as it is), while Russia doubling down on shutting down internal dissent, despite international attention and condemnation, is very, very interesting and worthy of attention.
(1) Yeah, yeah, South Africa stockpiled and proliferated a hundred nukes or so in preparation for a race war. Point still stands.
With Russia being the primary energy supplier of Western Europe, you might want to think through the desire part a bit better.
The problem is simply that Africa is just not of interest to Western eyes. Had those miners been gunned down in Belarus, it would have made the wider news.
Regional wars in other continents don't tend to have the same effect.
There are more deaths by starvation and malnutrition than by weapons. That explains it. No money involved. Sad but true.
A couple of years ago, there was a clash between muslims and christians in Nigeria that left something like 300 dead. It was simply an article in the 'world news' section. In searching for that article, I found one from two months ago where dozens more were killed, so it's still going on without making the headlines (outside of the 'world news' section)
Perhaps another aspect is that the story of "many dead in African incident" is rather common, so it pulls less eyeballs.
Still, the ongoing regional violence in Africa deserves more attention from the world, as their regional military police from the African Union seem either apathetic, powerless or corrupt and only go in at their whim, it would appear.
Regarding the "vandalism" claim, you are wrong. The three girls have not touched a thing there. At most, they deserved to pay a fine (even according to Russian laws). I suggest you study the facts first before starting another of your ironic passages.
The organized and overblown reaction to all of this is much more about
ruining Russia's reputation as a democratic nation than anything else.
One of Russian Erlang mailing lists recently banned political spam on off-topic grounds. Alas, no such luck with HN.
Singing a song protesting the president and religion in a church is not vandalism, and in many countries would not be considered a crime at all.
That's what Pussy Riot have been jailed for - hate speech, not for singing an anti-Putin song. In fact they were screaming profanities in the cathedral, and their anti-Putin song was added later to their YouTube video.
What qualifies as "hate speech"?
"On 4 March 2010, a jury returned a verdict of guilty against Harry Taylor, who was charged under Part 4A of the Public Order Act 1986. Taylor was charged because he left anti-religious cartoons in the prayer-room of Liverpool's John Lennon Airport on three occasions in 2008. The airport chaplain, who was insulted, offended, and alarmed by the cartoons, called the police. On 23 April 2010, Judge Charles James of Liverpool Crown Court sentenced Taylor to a six-month term of imprisonment suspended for two years, made him subject to a five-year Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO) (which bans him from carrying religiously offensive material in a public place), ordered him to perform 100 hours of unpaid work, and ordered him to pay £250 costs"
Not quite 2 years prison sentence, but a (suspended) jail term nevertheless. But then again, it was not a desecration of a main cathedral either, it was just a cartoon on a wall in an airport prayer room...
Maybe Pussy Riot gives us a case to abolish hate speech laws altogether? So nobody should be threatened with arrest or fine for saying bad things about Muslims, homosexuals, Christians, Jews or whoever, as it is the case now.
I'm having a hard time seeing any other interpretation as trying to make offence, a victimless crime, a criminal act.
Here are the actual lyrics of the song performed:
As far as I can see the only words in their which might be seen as trying to inspire 'harm' are 'Virgin Mary, put Putin away'.
If they have chosen another venue for their anti-Putin song, I guess the prosecution would not have any case against them.
Besides, they did not have time to really sing anything in the cathedral. The sound was added to the YouTube video later.
I think all hate speech laws should be abolished, since there is such a thin line between 'inciting hatred' and 'offending sensitivities'.
People do stuff like this all the time in the U.S. – this is performance art, and no more intrusive or offensive than typical performance art, and those people don't go to jail. And Alabama churches aren't some otherworldly place.
A guy in the UK was arrested and given (suspended) jail sentence, a fine and 100 hours of unpaid public labour for leading anti-religious cartoons in an airport prayer room. All because a chaplain felt offended by his cartoons... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hate_speech_laws_in_the_United_...
This is actually quite funny: the people behind Pussy Riot campaign now have to explain to Western liberal public why Russian hate speech laws are bad, but European laws that forbid insulting Muslims and homosexuals are good.
Because if Pussy Riot sang their anti-Putin song not in the cathedral, but, say, in the street, they won't get get the press.
I very strongly disagree with the use of the phrase "equally unjust." It sounds like false equivalence (unless I misread your comment). The western world largely is better than Russia in matters of freedom of speech/expression. Your comment then segues into conspiracy?
Just to reiterate, I agree with the bulk of your comment, but I felt compelled to comment on your last paragraph.
I'm not sure if this is a serious question. They are musicians and entertainers, many with punk roots (Madonna was NY Downtown, which is close enough), some who have been attacked by governments for social statements in their works using "traumatized" members of the public as a proxy. Pussy Riot is a band.
If you're not talking about Madonna, Sting, or any of the musicians that have been keeping this stuff in the news, who are you talking about? Me? It bugs me because the Church, an autocratic regime, and the Russian judicial system have merged to a point where they aren't even tolerating the existence of even trivial, fairly-vapid, middle-class, artsy dissent from a renewed nationalist program - and don't even have the shame to do it in secret, because they feel that enough of the public is behind them that they'll get away with it.
That's scary, and doesn't bode well for the future. It certainly doesn't even get into the ballpark of bugging me as much as Guantanamo. Guantanamo is happening in my country, and is a trampling on of my rights, and my constitution.
Why is it different from striking miners being murdered in South Africa? Because the striking miners weren't gunned down in a courtroom, after months of deliberation, with the support of the majority of the South African public, maybe? Maybe because the aggression of the state in support of capitol against striking workers is a known, and common evil? Maybe because the victims were black working men, not pretty middle-class white women involved in entertainment?
Asking how people can be more concerned about one than the other at this moment seems intentionally obtuse. Some people don't care at all about Pussy Riot, some don't care at all about the miners, some care about both, some care about neither, but the range of completely different concerns raised by each of those situations could be enumerated all day without hint of exhaustion.
and you won't be surprised a bit. Western supposedly "free" media channels operate as expected according to the proposed model.
[EDIT] Here's a link to the BBC for background, for those that don't like the Guardian: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-19302986
As a Russian I know first hand things aren't rosy, but they aren't so simplistic and cartoonishly evil as western media and comments on HN portray.
In the long run, the terror may be something of a good thing: it may hasten Putin's demise. In the short run, he has squandered the last of the opportunities that the Soviet industrial and technological base had given him.
And it's not that he always was evil: until 2002, he legitimately did a good job of strengthening the state when it was weak and reeling from Chechnya. But then he never stopped.
I seriously couldn't tell: are you talking about Russia or the US here...?
Can you really imagine a punk rock band in the US getting two years in prison (a felony in any state in the US) for a stunt like Pussy Riot pulled, involving absolutely no property damage or physical harm? Or journalists critical of the regime being assassinated pretty frequently (with little hope of those murders ever being solved)? Or gay protesters being beaten in the streets?
Where are you living in the US that the exercise of government power seems somehow similar to all that?
Let me answer for him: "Yes"
No, Putin isn't cartoonishly evil. In reality, he's actually quite nice when compared to the historical norm. Getting the shit beaten out of you or getting a few years in jail is actually kinda mild when you review the last 100 years in the motherland.
That's really not the point, anyway. Most of the negativity about Putin comes out from dissapointment. Most in the West actually thought Russia would change and would join the party.
Things are'nt rosy for Putin indeed. And they're not as simplistic. I guess to make them simpler he got himself back in the office by rigging the vote and then by beating and arresting those who protest, Kasparov included?
Ahhr... you caught me! I am being paid by the KGB for deliberately spreading misinformation on the Internet, recruit boy scouts into the Komsomol and paint Ulysses Grant's beard in black to make him look like Karl Marx on every $50 bill I get a hold of.
He got 64% of the total vote (45 million people). His closest opponent was a communist with 17%.
Now, how much votes did Putin steal? 10%? That would still leave him with twice as much votes as his next opponent. He'd still have the people's mandate.
It is quite possible that you do not like the choice of the majority of Russian people. But if you cannot accept result of a democratic election then you should not be making statements about Constitution and the law.
P.S. Calling those "elections" democratic tells the whole story about you. Yes, you. They was nothing democratic about them, my Kremlin paid buddy.
With opposition so bright, no wonder why Putin gets elected.
Putin should feel humiliated when he meets his North Korean friend Kim (err.. what's his name?) next time, for getting his officially announced miserable 64%.
You are being paid by the Kremlin
Nah, it's exactly the other way around. I see you did not address this at all:
Putin violated Russia's own laws including the Constitution, when he ran for the 3rd time, and he should not be the president, no matter how big you think his popularity is.
For many this looks like twisting the law, but Putin is genuinely popular among common people so most people are kind of happy he found a legal way around the limitations.
But it's not only stealing elections. It's also completely destroying judicial system - again, nobody believes there's such thing as independent judiciary anymore in Russia, it is jailing political opponents, it is stealing millions of dollars from the budget... Yes, things "aren't rosy". But I'd seriously suggest you to wake up and smell the roses, because the real evil is already there. And if history teaches us anything, it'll get much worse before it gets better. Russia has a history of leaders who imprisoned their political opponents. Nothing good came out of it, not once.
Nobody knows how many popular votes Putin got - exactly because
he did not allow to count the votes fairly.
And let me correct you -- 63% of the Russian voters who have voted for Putin believe that they live under democracy, and are very happy that their votes count and their candidate has won.
Again, quoting official results in obviously and proven rigged elections as evidence of "voters who have voted for Putin" is just disingenuous - do you really believe anybody would be swayed by the argument "Putin won elections because Putin says so"?
Also, the democracy is not only when majority wins. It is also when the rights of everybody are respected. Even if Putin had won the majority vote - which we do not know since there was no free and fair election - it would not absolve him from responsibility to preserve the rights of every citizen - including those who oppose him. That is clearly not happening.
There were 25 thousand people protesting in Moscow Pushking square immediately after his re-election on March 5, 2012. No major regional protests reported. Moscow has 11 million inhabitants, so 0.02% of them were protesting. I would not call them 'mass protests'.
In contrast, the protests about cases of fraud during Parliament elections rally on Bolotnaya square in December 2011 brought 60 thousand protesters in one day, and many more rallies have been reported throughout Russia.
On tens of March (I quote) "Another 'For Fair Elections' protest was staged on the Novy Arbat street in Moscow. A permit was issued for 50,000,... but just 25,000 thousand came according to the organisers and 10,000 according to the police. The mood was downbeat after Putin won an absolute majority everywhere but Moscow where he garnered 46.95% of the vote. Sergei Udaltsov of Left Front, called for a massive demonstration 1 May, but no further protests are scheduled".
Also, here's a link to an article that actually draws from a Russian article. http://www.forbes.com/sites/markadomanis/2012/07/31/what-do-...
Good to get some news about Russia from something that isn't a conglomerate of media corps that is funded/protected by political interests that have a bone to pick with the current Russian regime. ;) (that is, news from russia)
And the article you linked points to numbers saying that the large majority (74%) of Russians say the punishment should be "time served" (or, "let them serve a few months, starting from their arrest on May 6th"). And 63% say less than that. Only 26% of people thought they should be imprisoned longer. I honestly think you'd find people in the US that would this kind of punishment if you threw a punk rock protest in the middle of a large church.
So while it seems like you're suggesting (without saying anything) that the idea that these people shouldn't be kept in prison is some Western pushed ideology in some attempt to unseat Putin or attack his legitimacy... It's a pretty common opinion. Held by the majority of Russians.
At least, that's what your linked article said...
(And that's not even taking up my issue with Forbes.)
Many others: http://news.google.com/?q=pussy%20riot
The most intriguing part of this affair to me has been the revelations of the patriarchy as basically tools of the KGB and now Putin. The airbrushed out $30K watch that bloggers found the reflection of. Wild stuff. Not that we don't have our share of corrupt clergy in the US but that the story we've always been told was of how the Russian church was oppressed and quietly waited out the evil Socialist overlords.
As late as 2004 he was a member of a US "Security Advisory Council" (NSAC). It was funny to see Kasparov's name on the website under the slogan: "Advisory Council members have dedicated their careers to American security", right next to assistant Secretary of Defence
I respect his anti-Putin views, and his chess achievements, but how exactly can he make a political career in Russia with such a background?
His current role is to get beaten occasionally by the police and to remind Western audience that Russian president is evil.
Maybe so. I for one have been reminded that the Russian president is evil.
Nemtsov - unpopular because of his past, Limonov - too radical, Kasparov - is just a clown.
The video deals with PR guru Edward Bernays work for his client, a United Fruit Company (UFCO). When a newly elected Guatemala president Jacobo Árbenz threatened to nationalize UFCO's plantations, Bernays engineered a campaign to turn the popularly elected president doing hugely popular things for his people, into a threat to democratic values and a communist with links to Moscow.
In reality, Arbenz was no communist and no dictator, as the documentary points out. But Bernays has set up a shell American press agency which bombarded US media with reports about alleged freedom violations in Guatemala. Bernays has also apparently organised a few violent anti-US actions in Guatemala to support his thesis.
As a result, president Arbenz was ousted in a coup and replaced with a proper dictator, which was generally viewed as a good thing by the freedom-loving public in the US. Interestingly, the whole time the United Fruit Company has been kept out of the picture, even through it was paying for the campaign.
The whole BBC documentary http://centuryself.blogspot.com/ is quite interesting.
There are many ways to get yourself arrested, if you really want to. In Europe, you can get jail for hate speech, for example, (though not in the US, where it is constitutionally protected) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hate_speech
Don't forget, Pussy Riot have been jailed not for singing an anti-Putin song, but for inciting religious hatred. They were screaming profanities in the cathedral. (They didn't sing in the church, had no time, they were removed after 40s, the song about Putin was added later to their YouTube video).
Of course they had it planned, and of course it was a "provocation". In sane countries, such "provocations" - public performances aimed at focusing public attention on important public issues - are called demonstrations, and it is a regular part of public discourse. Rosa Park's actions were "planned provocation". Martin Luther King made "planned provocations". People that went to the Red Square in 1968 to protest Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia made a "planned provocation".
Since the official Church in Russia is not only completely united with the state, despite formal separation of church and state, but also enjoys multiple benefits of such arrangement, both pecuniary and otherwise, it also is a legitimate target for protest.
As for "screaming profanities in the cathedral" - this is factually incorrect, they did not. But even if they did, it is not a criminal offense - causing somebody a mild butthurt is not a crime warranting imprisonment.
Your comment of "there are many ways to get yourself arrested" is classical case of blaming the victim - if they just would shut up and gave up their rights and freedoms as other good boys and girls did, nothing would happen. Probably so. But some people are not OK with their freedoms taken away. Some protest. Putting a blame on them for "provoking" oh so innocent regime into locking them up for 2 years is disingenuous at best.
"screaming profanities in the cathedral" - this is
factually incorrect, they did not.
Listen, I am actually against hate speech laws everywhere, including Europe, and I believe the church has no place in the modern state.
But I fail to see any Putin connection in Pussy Riot arrest and their jail time. Pussy Riot got jailed for hate speech. That's a fact. Any Putin association is a result of a well executed PR campaign. Everybody knows that... ))
I don't think they do.
There's a reason why the US does not allow the same person to be president more than twice in their life (although that doesn't stop them from putting someone they trust in power).
This sounds more like Switzerland.
An electrician also needs a lot of experience before he can be good at his job. But he doesn't get a max of one year to accomplish mastery. He can shadow an experienced master electrician in an apprenticeship role for years before he actually takes charge.
If he was a real problem, they would have put him down by now. If they didn't allow protests, they would be cracking skulls.
Fixed that for you.
I'm saying that if Russia was oppressive as people are making it out to be, he would be silenced by now.
I present 4 possibilities:
1) If he was important and silenced, the claim that Russia is oppressive would hold.
2) If he is not silenced and important, there would be support for him within his own country, but then the country wouldn't be as oppressive as people make it out to be since he hasn't been silenced.
3) If he is silenced and unimportant, we would hear little to nothing of him.
4) If he is not silenced and unimportant, then he has a chance at getting attention from our news outlets that are always looking for an excuse to paint something has a humanitarian crisis as a pretext for war.
Whenever he shows up, the venues seem to be either cancelled outright or suffer from all sorts of electrical and infrastructure problems all of a sudden. Couple of times he chose to take his message to the people outside the closed venue, he was egged, with police preventing his followers from chasing the perpetrators. Of course, those are also the images that TV stations choose display whenever mentioning Kasparov in passing.
When you control the media, it's easy to hand-pick quotes and stock photos to portray even the most eloquent and intellectual speaker as crazy bum who's shouting in public places to gain self-promotion.
All in all, Kasparov has an incredible brain that, regrettably, peaked in its performance and application when he was a chess player. I left Russia over 10 years ago (meaning that I've spent most of my adult life in the Western world), and yet even when I was there it was bloody obvious that Kasparov was on the US payroll. The fact that a smart and practical person like him continued on the same path only cements my impression.
I've read some blog post(from an activist who was in the same bus) pointing that he was actually beaten.
Linking to some sort of actual analysis of this might be interesting; littering the threads with multiple repetitions of this as a fact is not.
By MIKE WHITNEY:
"And a final word on Garry Kasparov
On Sunday, while Putin's party "United Russia" was screeching to a landslide victory, Reuters News was busy taking mug-shots of the stony-faced Kasparov holding up Florida-style ballots claiming the voting was rigged. "They are not just rigging the vote," Kasparov moaned, "They are raping the whole electoral system. These elections are a reminder of Soviet elections when there was no choice.....Putin is going to have a hard time trying to rule like Stalin."
Stalin? So now Putin is Stalin? First of all, when did Reuters begin to take such a keen interest in voting irregularities? It must be a recent development, becuase they were nowhere to be found in the 2000 presidential election. And when did they start to pay attention to "political dissent"? They certainly never wasted any video-footage on the antiwar rallies in the US. Are we to believe that they are more interested in democracy in Russia than America?
And why is Reuters so eager to provide valuable column-space to a washed-up chessmaster who's only interested in making a nuisance of himself by bellyaching about voter fraud? That's not news; it's propaganda."
From article dated December 05, 2007
Why the Council on Foreign Relations Hates Putin
Why Murdoch’s Journal Loves Kasparov
Not that I think that any of this should be on HN front page.
How about: undisputed chess champion Gary Kasparov also double-times as a champion of a certain western power's interests in Russia and goes around challenging the democratically elected government that has a huge popular vote behind it?
The same western powers that want some idiot controllable puppet running Russia, and pretend that their issue is with Putin's "cronyism" and "corruption" (because, stuff like multi-billion war contracts to friends under Bush, or the trillion dollar financial firm bailout, or all the laws passed in favor of this or that lobby, are not cronyism/corruption).
Strange how little the same western powers and their mass media protest the Assange situation.